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Die Freude reget sich, BWV 36b

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Title: Die Freude reget sich, BWV 36b  
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Subject: Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36, Steigt freudig in die Luft, BWV 36a, Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c, Paulinerkirche, Leipzig
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Die Freude reget sich, BWV 36b

Die Freude reget sich (Joy awakens), BWV 36b, is a secular cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. The work appears to date from 1735, when Bach was living in Leipzig. Bach drew on material he had composed about ten years earlier for the cantata Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c.


The text pays homage to Johann Florens Rivinius, who was appointed Rector of Leipzig University in October 1735. The cantata was probably performed in the university church, the Paulinerkirche.

In 1727 Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander) had published an earlier version of the text, the birthday cantata Steigt freudig in die Luft, which was also set by Bach. Picander was probably the author of the adaptation for the university celebration.[1][2][3]

Scoring and structure

The cantata is scored for four soloists, soprano, alto, tenor and bass, a four-part choir, flauto traverso, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola and basso continuo.[4]

  1. Coro: Die Freude reget sich for choral and orchestral tutti.
  2. Recitativo: Ihr seht, wie sich das Glücke for tenor and continuo.
  3. Aria: Aus Gottes milden Vaterhänden for tenor, oboe d'amore, and continuo.
  4. Recitativo: Die Freunde sind vergnügt for alto, strings, and continuo.
  5. Aria: Das Gute, das dein Gott beschert for alto, flauto traverso, strings, and continuo.
  6. Recitativo: Wenn sich die Welt mit deinem Ruhme trägt for soprano and continuo.
  7. Aria: Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen for soprano, flauto traverso, violino solo, and continuo.
  8. Coro & Recitativi: Was wir dir vor Glücke gönnen for tenor, alto and soprano soloists, choir, and orchestral tutti.


As in BWV36c, the first movement is cheerful in nature, and the tenor aria includes a significant oboe d'amore line. The final movement is a "jolly chorus with interpolated recitative".[5]

There are also related sacred cantatas, two versions of the church cantata for the First Sunday in Advent, Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36. The original cantata is unusual in being a secular work which was parodied as a sacred work and then, some five years later as a secular work. Bach's parodies are usually secular to sacred rather than sacred to secular. The explanation given for the prevalence of secular to sacred parodies is that occasional secular works such as birthday contatas had a single use and then Bach was able to reuse them as sacred works.




The first source is the score.

Several databases provide additional information on each cantata:

  • Cantata BWV 36b Die Freude reget sich history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
  • Die Freude reget sich history, scoring, Bach website (German)
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Alberta
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